Saturday, 28 September 2013

First glaze firing in ages

This morning I anxiously opened the kiln to see the results of my first glaze firing in three months. I have been busy working on burnished and smoked work recently and have also been making the most of the good summer to head to the hills or the coast, hence no work to glaze for quite a while.

It was time to get back to working with my white St Thomas clay to replace stock and experiment with some new ideas.

Glazing is not my favourite part of the ceramics process, but a necessary evil to produce desired results (if the glazing works). Hence it is always with some trepidation that I open the kiln; will the glaze have run and welded my pots to the kiln shelves or each other? Will I have the glaze colours that I anticipated?

I was relieved when I opened the kiln this morning, everything intact and only one small glaze run. Stupidly ran my thumb over the blob of glaze left on one of my shelves resulting in much blood and a lesson learnt ( I hope!) Glaze is glass and can be very sharp...

Stock replacement included some of my small heart bowls.

small heart bowls (various glazes) ~ 8cm diameter
I also made some more yarn bowls (hoping to keep one for myself this time).

Experimentation with some of the new ideas filling my sketchbook gave the following results.

Shallow heart bowl ~12cm
I textured the slab by rolling onto textured wallpaper before cutting out and shaping the heart. When the clay was leather hard I cut the grooves. After bisque firing the grooves were filled with marble green glaze then covered with wax resist. Copper oxide was brushed into the texture and edges of bowl, then dipped into off white glaze. A process which I plan to repeat with larger bowls.

Teardrop vase h~17cm, d~14cm

This vase was glazed first with Tenmoku, then shiny white tin was poured/dotted on and gave the desired speckled effect - very happy (especially since the vase also holds water).

Teardrop vase h~14cm, d~13cm
Dipped part of vase in marble-green glaze and top in copper red, then dotted on both galzes in the unglazed band. Pleased with the colour of the dots, but in the top section the glaze was not thick enough, resulting in not enough colour. Also unglazed area is too large; I think that I may experiment trying to add more glaze and re-fire?

Once the cut on my thumb has healed enough I can go back to playing with some more clay.

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